New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday cautioned that China is silently taking over territory and testing India's threshold, and warned of a two-front war on the western and northern borders. The statement comes barely a week after India and China managed to disengage their border personnel at Doklam and ended one of their longest military face-offs.
"Salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations emerging which could gradually emerge into conflict...," Gen. Rawat said about China at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.
"Salami slicing" refers to a string of small, clandestine operations meant to achieve a larger goal that would be difficult to accomplish in one go.
Troops of the two countries had been locked in a standoff in Doklam since June 16 after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the disputed area. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.
"Whether these conflicts will be confined or limited in space and time or whether these can expand into an all-out war along the entire front (remains to be seen)...with the western adversary taking advantage of the situation developing along the northern border is very much likely," Rawat said.
The army chief said that there was no denying that India has to stay prepared for conflict on its northern and western borders.
On Pakistan, Gen. Rawat asked as to how long the country will continue to bear the proxy war and said, “Because of the proxy war there is always scope for conflict with our Western neighbour.”
At the just concluded BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi stressed to PM Modi that it's important for relations between the two countries to get on "the right track." Xi also mentioned Jawahar Lal Nehru's Panchsheel treaty, saying that China was prepared to work with India to seek guidance from five principles of Panchsheel.